The community-organizing group ACORN has “absolutely” re-emerged since it was disbanded in the spring and there could be an “epidemic” of voter fraud problems this year to change the outcome of the midterm elections, David Norcross, the chairman of the Republican National Lawyers Association, told Newsmax.
Newsmax, a conservative website, compared ACORN to “the mythological hydra that grew two heads for every one cut off.”
Norcross — whose group hosted a panel on ACORN at the Conservative Political Action Conference entitled “Saving Freedom From Vote Fraud” — lamented that Democrats were using the anti-voter fraud initiatives launched by conservatives to rally their base.“One of the very unfortunate things about this whole topic is that the left uses this as an excuse to gin up voter participation and to attack people who are interested in keeping good clean ballots and voting,” Norcross says in the video [emphasis ours].
As TPMMuckraker has reported, the RNLA — like many conservative groups — has been ramping up allegations of massive voter fraud ahead of the 2010 midterm elections.
“Some of the old ACORN groups are back at it again,” Norcross told Newsmax. “They use quotas for registration. That encourages people to go out and sign up anybody, or nobody — just sign up addresses and things like that.”
The RNLA has been training lawyers in Illinois , where GOP Senate candidate Mark Kirk got into hot water over his announcement that the campaign planned to deploy voter integrity squads in predominately minority neighborhoods throughout the state.
Norcross said the RNLA is watching Illinois very carefully. He also said the RNLA has “had a team in Nevada for about two weeks” that includes co-chair Cleta Mitchell.
Voter fraud is “an epidemic,” Norcross said. “It’s laughable that the left calls voter fraud nonexistent. It’s very much existent. The shame is that both parties ought to be engaged in trying to stop this. The left is busy using it as a way to manufacture turnout, magnify turnout.”
Tova Andrea Wang, Senior Democracy Fellow at the Demos, said the type of language used by Norcross is a perfect example of groups exaggerating the threat of voter fraud for political gain.
“It’s exactly the kind of inflammatory language that is less than useful at this time in the election cycle. It’s the kind of language that is meant to gin up all sorts of unfounded conspiracy theories to steal the election which simply don’t go on,” Tova Wang told TPMMuckraker Monday.
Norcross also told Newsmax that he agreed with FreedomWorks CEO Dick Armey, who alleged that Democrats were committing voter fraud because they were ahead in early voting.
Dave Weigel of Slate thinks these anti-voter fraud campaigns, even if they fail to find anything wrong, are a net gain for the Republicans.
“Let’s say that no actual election fraud is captured, and no voters are scared away by aggressive Tea Partiers. The benefit of this sort of election-watching is enormous anyway, because it was exactly this — a videoblogger for the little-known Election Journal — that produced 23 months of scandal over two idiots from the New Black Panther Party skulking outside of a Philadelphia polling booth,” Weigel writes. “Expect numerous stories of “union thugs” or otherwise scary activists defrauding the vote on November 2; expect a new Republican Congress to investigate them.”
The Newsmax video interview with David Norcross embedded below.